|Snell Acoustics Series 7 Speaker System|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Speaker Systems|
|Written by Brian Kahn|
|Saturday, 01 October 2005|
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Snell Acoustics’ Series 7 is the first line created by Snell’s famed chief designer Joe D’Appolito. The reviewed system is comprised of three LCR7s (front left and right and center speaker), a pair of K7s for surrounds and an ICS300 subwoofer. This new Snell system is attractive, compact and is designed to pack a large, accurate punch for a retail price of $5,750.
The main speaker in this system is the LCR7, which utilizes dual five-and-a-quarter-inch woofers flanking a one-inch tweeter. This array is better known as the D’Appolito array. All of the drivers are made by SEAS and help provide the LCR7s with a stated frequency range of 75Hz to 22kHz and output up to 100 dB per pair, with 90 dB sensitivity. The cabinet measures 19 inches high, seven inches wide and eight-and-three-quarters inches deep. My review samples were finished in a very attractive real cherry wood veneer, with satin black as the other option. The cabinets are capped with solid aluminum plates and have perforated metal grilles. The back panel features dual high quality binding posts to allow bi-wiring or bi-amping. The back panel also features a boundary switch designed to reduce chestiness when the speaker is mounted close to a wall or other enclosure. Like all other speakers in the Series 7, the LCR7s are matched within .5dB to a pair of reference LCR7 speakers. The fit and finish are exemplary for speakers costing $1,000 each.
The K7 monitors feature a similar cabinet design to the LCR7 and measures 12 inches high, seven inches wide and 11 inches deep. Like the LCR7s, they are bi-wireable and have a boundary proximity switch on the rear. Unlike the LCR7, the K7 also features a rear-firing port. The driver complement consists of one five-and-a-quarter-inch woofer and a single one-inch silk dome tweeter, both by SEAS. The K7’s stated frequency response is 50Hz to 22kHz, with 87 dB sensitivity.
The last speaker in the system is the ICS300 subwoofer. This 15-inch cube is finished in the same cherry veneer as the LCR7s and features a custom-built 10-inch woofer that can be set up for front or down firing; it is powered by an internal 300-watt amplifier. Like most other powered subwoofers, the ICS300 has a plethora of connections and controls, including a two-position phase switch, relative volume control and adjustable low pass crossover. Connections include high and low-level inputs and an IEC power plug. According to the literature accompanying the subwoofer, it can be set to either forward or down-firing positions, but my particular sample was set up for downward firing only. Snell is also releasing a forward-firing subwoofer called the Basis 300, which is said to offer nearly identical performance, but with a cabinet styled like the LCR7 and K7. The 10-inch woofer is flanked by dual ports that help the unit achieve an extended low end down to 25Hz, with a maximum output of 110dB.
Setting up the speakers in my reference home theater system was quite simple. I placed the LCR7s and K7s on Vantage Point stands and connected them to my Krell HTS 7.1 with AudioQuest speaker cables. I used Gibraltar cables across the front, with the left and right bi-wired and CV-4 for the K7s in the rear. I connected the ICS300 via the “Sub In” input, which bypasses the subwoofers internal crossover. I initially had the center LCR7 positioned horizontally below my 92-inch Stewart GreyHawk screen, but repositioned it to a vertical orientation during my listening tests.